Salivary Gland Cancer

Salivary gland cancer, also known as salivary gland neoplasms or salivary gland tumors, refers to the abnormal growth of cells within the salivary glands. The salivary glands are responsible for producing saliva, which aids in digestion and lubrication of the mouth. While most salivary gland tumors are benign (noncancerous), a small percentage can be malignant (cancerous).

Signs & Symptoms
  • Lump or swelling: The most common symptom of salivary gland cancer is the presence of a painless lump or swelling in the face, neck, or mouth. The lump may increase in size over time.
  • Facial pain or numbness: Some individuals with salivary gland cancer may experience persistent pain in the face, mouth, or neck. In certain cases, there may be numbness or weakness in the face due to nerve involvement.
  • Difficulty swallowing or opening the mouth widely: Salivary gland tumors that grow larger or are located near the throat can cause difficulty in swallowing or opening the mouth widely.
  • Changes in facial appearance: As the tumor grows, it may cause changes in the shape or appearance of the face, such as asymmetry or swelling.
  • Persistent ear pain: Tumors located in the parotid gland, which is situated near the ear, can cause persistent ear pain or discomfort.
  • Fluid draining from the ear: In some cases, a tumor in the parotid gland can obstruct the normal drainage of fluid from the ear, leading to fluid discharge.
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech: Tumors affecting the tongue or other structures involved in speech production can lead to difficulty speaking clearly or slurred speech.